R&B Beat: Whitney, Britney, Stevie ...

Whitney Houston tops Britney Spears on UK chart; Stevie Wonder performing at Grover Washington Jr. tribute.

R&B singer Whitney Houston took the #1 spot on the UK albums chart with Whitney — The Greatest Hits. Britney Spears' Oops ... I Did it Again came in at #2. ... A tribute to the late jazz saxophonist Grover Washington Jr. will feature Stevie Wonder. The "Celebrate the Magic" concert Thursday (May 25) in Philadelphia will raise money for the Grover Washington Jr. Protect the Dream Foundation, which supports music education. ...

Manchester, England's Cleopatra will appear in ads for CoverGirl cosmetics, along with model Niki Taylor. The R&B trio's album Steppin' Out is set for an Aug. 22 release. ... R&B vocal trio Before Dark will open 14 dates on Christina Aguilera's upcoming tour. They'll share the bill on four of those dates, which run from July 28–Aug. 16, with Destiny's Child. ...

You can check out this year's Essence Awards on TV or the Web on Thursday (May 25). The awards, taped April 14 and featuring performances by Erykah Badu, Macy Gray, Gerald Levert, Rah Digga and Christina Aguilera, will air on the Fox TV network and in an expanded version on www.essence.com. ...

The soundtrack to the remake of the 1971 movie "Shaft" will include new tracks from Donell Jones, Angie Stone, Outkast and Too Short, in addition to a new version of Isaac Hayes' "Theme from 'Shaft.' " The album comes out June 13. ... Vocal trio En Vogue performed "Riddle," the first single from their album Masterpiece Theater, due Tuesday, on NBC-TV's "Tonight Show" on Monday. ...

Rappers Jay-Z, Redman, Method Man, DMX, Foxy Brown and Eve will be joined by R&B stars Sisqó, Montell Jordan, Janet Jackson, Brian McKnight, Case and R. Kelly on the sequel to the multiplatinum 1996 soundtrack "The Nutty Professor." "The Nutty Professor II" soundtrack boasts production from Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, Rocwilder, Timbaland and Tim and Bob. The album will be released in early July, according to Zuhairah Khaldun at Def Jam Records. ...

The late Marvin Gaye's 1982 album, Midnight Love, featuring the hit "Sexual Healing," will be re-released May 30 by the Sony Legacy label. The label is also re-releasing Earth, Wind & Fire's 1988 collection, The Best of Earth, Wind and Fire, Vol. II and The O'Jays' 1975 Survival album. ...

R&B diva Mariah Carey has enlisted producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis to supervise the soundtrack to her upcoming film project, "All That Glitters." Carey starts shooting the film this summer. ...

Rappers Talib Kweli, De la Soul and Spooks will join R&B singers Dwayne Wiggins, Mary Mary and Sean Paul at the Fourth Annual Urban Focus Music Conference from June 24–25 at the University of Southern California. Avant, Ametria and Boomshaka also will perform at the outdoor concert. ...

"What's Really Going On" singer Wiggins will be among the performers at a series of "True Talent" search competitions this summer. Rappers Beanie Sigel and Drag-On will perform at the contest, which will reward winners with cash prizes and demo deals with Def Jam and FarmClub.com. ...

— sonicnet.com staff report